15th Sunday of the Year (b)
This Week’s Liturgy Calendar.
Ordinary Season of the Year. (b)
Weekdays – Year 1
Sunday 12th July: Fifteenth Sunday of the Year. (B)
The first reading is from the Prophet Amos. He has to speak God’s uncomfortable message of conversion to a self-sufficient people which was only paying lip service to God. His message is forceful and clear.
The second reading, from the Letter to the Ephesians, is a great hymn of thanks and praise for the love God has shown his people.
Jesus sends his apostles out to begin their task of preaching and teaching in his name. They will do his work. He warns against being over loaded with personal and selfish thoughts. They must be prepared for rejection. The good and the need of the other person must be paramount.
Monday 13th July: Monday of the 15th week of the year.
We move forward to the Book of Exodus. The people of Israel are now slaves in Egypt. They are growing in number so Pharaoh orders all new born males to be killed.
In the Gospel, we are reminded that being a follower of Jesus involves hardship and sacrifice at times. Tensions will grow between those who follow his teachings and those who do not, even in families.
Tuesday 14th July: Tuesday of 15th week of the year.
The story we hear today begins us on the journey of Moses. It is meant to illustrate God’s care for his chosen one and it explains how a Hebrew child receives an Egyptian upbringing. Moses grows into a man of great integrity, promoting justice amongst the Egyptians and his own people.
In spite of his miracles, the people still do not accept Jesus as Messiah. They will not listen. Jesus shows his sadness at this in what he says – their towns would suffer more than Tyre, Sidon and Sodom.
Wednesday 15th July: Memorial of St. Bonaventure.
He was born in Viterbo in Italy in 1221. He became a Franciscan at an early age, studied theology in Paris and taught there for many years. He was a close associate of St. Thomas Aquinas and wrote many books on mystical theology. He became Bishop of Albano. He was appointed a Cardinal by Pope Gregory and was a prominent participant at the Council of Lyons which, for a short time, healed the schism between the Greek and Roman Churches. He died in 1274.
Thursday 16th July: Thursday of the 15th week of the year.
In the vision at the Burning Bush, Moses was sent to free his people. He is told God’s name – ‘I Am who I am.’ This conveys the idea that God of Israel is always present among his people to guide them and assist them.
Jesus offers hope and courage to the ordinary people who are open to his message. Their leaders had made their religion a heavy burden, reducing it to a list of rules and regulations instead of it being a living faith with openness to others.
Friday 17th July: Friday of the 15th week of the year.
Pharaoh is finally persuaded to let the People of Israel go free. Their last act in captivity is to eat the Passover. Moses gives the detail of how this ritual meal is to be celebrated.
We are given another example of the Pharisees putting the letter of the law before the spirit of the law. They make laws that are almost impossible to keep in relation to the Sabbath.
Saturday 18th July: Saturday of the 15th week of the year.
The Israelites begin their march out of Egypt after so many years of slavery there. Everything had to be done in a hurry but their God was with them.
The Pharisees begin to plot against Jesus. Jesus seems to give in to them. He withdraws. It is in fact the opposite. He does not enter into endless debate. He lives his mission of raising up those who are bowed down, encouraging and supporting the weak and oppressed.
Lord our God,
You have given us yourself
In your Son Jesus Christ.
Do not allow us to be possessive of him
But help us realise
That your life and love are ours for good
Insofar as we are willing to grown in them
And share them
With our neighbour.
Give us this conviction and
The strength to put it into practice.
Through Jesus Christ, Our Lord.